tags: timeline 2009, hate crime, misogyny, sports, women, italian, armed for overkill, pseudocommando, cover story, united states, bomb threat, not jihad, not terrorism, multiple incidents
August 4, 2009 George Sodini LA Fitness 2009 Misogyny Massacre In Collier Township, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, suspect 48-year-old George Sodini entered a a women's aerobics class at an LA Fitness center, placed a duffel bag on the ground, turned off the lights, took out two handguns and began firing as many as 52 shots with two 9mm semiautomatic pistols before committing suicide by shooting himself in the head with a .45-caliber revolver. He also had another 32-caliber semiautomatic pistol that was not used Three women and the gunman died, and about nine other people were injured. Sodini was a systems analyst at a law firm. On a website registered in his name, Sodini chronicled nine months of rejections by women and sexual frustration, and he reportedly left a suicide note inside the gym bag stating his hatred for women. Nearly a week after the murders, it was revealed that Sodini had brought an inert grenade on a transit bus on July 28, 2009, but no charges were filed.
The 2009 Collier Township shooting, also referred to as the 2009 Bridgeville LA Fitness shooting, was a mass shooting resulting in murder-suicide that took place on August 4, 2009 in an LA Fitness health club inCollier Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The attack resulted in four deaths, including that of the perpetrator who took his own life. Nine other people were injured. The fitness center is approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of Pittsburgh, in The Great Southern Shopping Center, a strip mall located in the Kirwan Heights section of Collier Twp.
The shooting occurred at a women's aerobics class at the LA Fitness center in The Great Southern Shopping Center of Collier Township at approximately 8:15 pm EDT. The shooter entered the class, placed a duffel bag on the ground, turned off the lights, took out two handguns and began firing, police said. According to police, the gunman may have fired 52 shots with two 9mmsemiautomatic pistols before committing suicide by shooting himself in the head with a .45-caliber revolver. A .32-calibersemiautomatic pistol found in his pocket was not used.
Three women and the gunman died, and about nine other people were injured. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office identified the three women who died as Heidi Overmier, 46, of Collier; Elizabeth Gannon, 49, of Green Tree, Pennsylvania; and Jody Billingsley, 38, of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
The perpetrator was 48-year-old Scott Township resident George Sodini (September 30, 1960 – August 4, 2009), a systems analyst at the law firm of K&L Gates. On a website registered in his name, Sodini chronicled over a nine-month period his rejections by women and his severe sexual frustration. "Who knows why? I am not ugly or too weird. No sex since July 1990 either (I was 29)," he writes. "Last time I slept all night with a girlfriend it was 1982. Girls and women don't even give me a second look ANYWHERE." About his problems with women, he wrote: "Women just don't like me. There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one." He also wrote about contemplating carrying out a shooting, which he referred to as the "exit plan", while also revealing that he "chickened out" of carrying out such a shooting earlier in the year. The website states that he was "never married" and concludes "Death Lives!" Sodini states, "Probably 99% of the people who know me well don't even think I was this crazy." Sodini is reported to have left a note along inside the gym bag stating his hatred for women. In 2008, Sodini posted online videos, in which he discusses his emotions, along with a tour of his home, the latter which was a homework assignment from "a self-help seminar [he] had attended on how to date women". Nearly a week after the murders, it was revealed that Sodini had brought an inert grenade on a Port Authority bus on July 28, 2009. After a passenger sitting next to him notified police, he was questioned about the incident but no charges were filed.
It was later revealed that Sodini had left $225,000 for the University of Pittsburgh in his estate. However, the estate may be instead given to Sodini's victims, as courts have ultimate decisions over estates. The university has said it has "no interest" in receiving Sodini's estate.
In March 2012, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. filed a legal motion attempting to be pre-emptively seek exemption from liability under Sodini's $100,000 personal liability policy. Victims of the shooting claim that the insurance company neglected to ensure Sodini got mental health care.
TGSCOM Inc., an online gun wholesaler based in Green Bay, Wisconsin closed in 2012, and it was reported they were connected to the supply of the gun Sodini used in the incident.
On August 6, 2009, a vigil service was held for the three women killed in the shooting. The event was held at the Allegheny County Courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh. 75 people attended the memorial service.
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- George Sodini Posted 2 Web Sites, Online Videos Before Pennsylvania Gym Shooting, ABC News (August 6, 2009)
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- George Sodini, La Fitness shooter(August 5, 2009)
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- "LA Fitness Shooter Brought Non-Live Grenade On Port Authority Bus - kdka.com". Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- Kerlik, Bobby. "Pitt says 'no' to LA Fitness killer's bequest of $225,000". Pittsburgh Live. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
- Paula Reed Ward (March 29, 2012)."Killer's insurance company argues it is not liable". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- "Wis. weapons dealer that sold to Va. Tech gunman closes". Richmond Times-Dispatch. June 21, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- George Sodini's Blog: Full Text By Alleged Gym Shooter (at ABC News -website)
- George Sodini's Youtube channel
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